Enforcement

LDWF Agents Issue 16 Citations During Opening Weekend of Turkey Season

Release Date: 03/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited 11 people for alleged turkey hunting violations during the opening weekend of the 2014 turkey hunting season.

The 11 cases were made in West Feliciana, Jackson, Vernon, Natchitoches and Tangipahoa parishes on March 22 and 23.

Agents cited Jim Bailey, 73, Mathew Lenard, 37, Jimmy Lenard, 67, and Harvey Stover, 56, all of West Monroe, for hunting turkeys over a baited area on March 22 in Jackson Parish.

Also on March 22, agents cited Mark Granger, 54, of Hackberry, for failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Vernon Parish.

Agents cited Brock Herring, 29, of Camden, Ark., for hunting turkeys with an unplugged gun on March 22 in Claiborne Parish.

Agents cited Jerry Green, 44, of Slagle, for hunting turkeys over a baited area and not possessing turkey tags on March 22 in Vernon Parish.

In West Feliciana Parish, agents cited Frank Gonzales, 58, of St. Francisville, for hunting turkeys over a baited area on March 22.

On March 23, agents cited Baylor Blanchard, 21, of Amite, Russel Thompson, III, 32, of Amite, and John Bel, 20, of Arcolo, for hunting turkeys over a baited area in Tangipahoa Parish.  Agents also cited Bel for hunting without a basic hunting license, without a big game license, without a turkey stamp and failing to comply with turkey tag requirements.

According to the 2014 Turkey Regulations pamphlet, no person shall hunt or take turkeys by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area.  Hunters are not allowed to place, expose, deposit or scatter corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed to lure turkeys to their hunting area.

Also, turkey hunters are required to possess Louisiana basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey permit and turkey tags.  In addition, shotguns capable of holding over three shells must be plugged with a one piece filler.

Hunting turkeys over a baited area and hunting without an unplugged gun each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Not possessing a basic hunting license, big game license and turkey stamp brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the cases are Lt. Kenneth Balkom, Senior Agent Bryant Coburn, Sgt. Wesley Duck, Senior Agent Kurt Hatten, Senior Agent Russell Brack, Sgt. Billy Shoemaker, Senior Agent Andy Mitchell, Sgt. Eric Droddy, Senior Agent Scotty Delaney, Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Guy Adams, Sgt. Carl Armstrong, Sgt. Toby Miller, Senior Agent Brody Roberts and Senior Agent Lee Davis.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Reward Increased to $20,000 for Information on Whooping Cranes Shot in Jefferson Davis Parish

Release Date: 03/10/2014

March 10, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes found in Jefferson Davis Parish on Feb. 7.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

Organizations contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Sara Simmonds, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, Lake Charles Area Sportsmen, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Zoo New England, King White, Lowry Park Zoo, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, San Antonio Zoo, Joe Brooks and anonymous donors.

The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10. One bird was already dead when found and the second crane was transported to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, operated on and subsequently had to be euthanized when it failed to respond to recovery efforts.

LDWF has been working to restore a wild whooping crane population in Louisiana. Fifty juvenile cranes, brought to Louisiana in four separate cohort groups, have been released at LDWF’s White Lake property near Gueydan since 2011. Prior to this incident, 33 of those birds were alive and well on the landscape in central and southwest Louisiana.  Some have been lost to predators, some to naturally occurring health problems, and five in total have been confirmed as killed or wounded by firearms.

To learn more about LDWF’s whooping crane re-population project, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Rayne Man Arrested For Theft and Selling Shrimp Without A License

Release Date: 02/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Rayne man for alleged shrimp violations on Feb. 26.

Shannon J Roche, 36, of Rayne, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail for 13 counts of selling shrimp without a retail seafood license, three counts of theft by fraudulent sales, and failing to maintain records.

LDWF agents first learned of Roche’s illegal methods from a number of consumers posting photos of him on social media websites and describing his illegal practices.

During the investigation into Roche’s illegal methods, agents learned that Roche allegedly purchased shrimp from a wholesale retail dealer and resold them to consumers on 13 different occasions during the months of January and February.  He additionally made three transactions to consumers whom did not receive the correct amount of shrimp purchased.  Roche also did not keep proper documentation of his sales.

Selling shrimp without a retail seafood license brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Theft by fraudulent sales carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.  Failing to maintain records brings up to a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Sgt. Lance Devillier, and Senior Agents David Boudreaux, Derek Logan, and Donald Murray participated in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Region 6 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Address: 

St. James Parish Sheriff’s Department Range & Training Facility
29449 Sheriff Range Rd.
Vacherie, La

City: 
Vacherie
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling 225-562-2572. Class size is limited.

Region 6 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Address: 

St. James Parish Sheriff’s Department Range & Training Facility
29449 Sheriff Range Rd.
Vacherie,La.

City: 
Vacherie
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling 225-562-2572.

Three Men Plead Guilty and Sentenced for Oyster Theft

Release Date: 02/26/2014

On Feb. 25, John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., pleaded guilty to numerous commercial oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Phillipe pleaded guilty to harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill, violating the state’s health code by not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book, and another count of violating the state’s health code for vessel sanitation requirements, no tarp, no visible boat numbers and taking commercial fish without a vessel license.  He was also cited for improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of a vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.

Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor pleaded guilty for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.

Judge Michael Clement accepted all three pleas and ordered the following sentences: Phillipe was ordered to pay a fine of $3,900 plus all court costs and was placed on two years probation.  All of Phillipe’s commercial licenses were also revoked for a period of two years and he is forbidden to be on any oyster vessel for two years.  His oyster dredge was also forfeited to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor were each ordered to pay a fine of $950 plus court costs and were ordered to not be on a vessel harvesting or possessing oysters or gear to take oysters for two years unless that vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring device that is approved and monitored by the LDWF Enforcement Division.

LDWF agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset on Aug. 26, 2013 in Bayou Stephan located in Plaquemines Parish.  Agents discovered the boating safety and health code violations during the stop.

Assistant District Attorney Robert White prosecuted the case.  Agents participating in the case were Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Surviving Whooping Crane Euthanized Due to Deteriorating Condition

Release Date: 02/19/2014

(Baton Rouge, La.)  – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the male whooping crane found wounded on Feb. 7 in Jefferson Davis Parish was humanely euthanized at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine this morning, Feb. 19.

LDWF agents believe the male crane, along with a female, were shot on Feb. 6.  The female crane was found dead at the scene. The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10 on Feb. 7.

The male whooping crane was brought to the LSU SVM’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital by LDWF staff on Feb. 8. LSU SVM’s staff determined a humerus and radius fracture through radiographs taken at that time. The bird underwent surgery on Feb. 9. There was a high risk of infection because the fractures were open, but the bird initially recovered well from surgery.

The crane’s condition began to deteriorate on Feb. 18 and had weakened to the point that any efforts to try to revive him would have exacerbated his condition.  The bird was humanely euthanized at the LSU SVM this morning.

Veterinarians at LSU SVM and LDWF worked together on the bird’s recovery and will continue to work together to save Louisiana’s wildlife.

A $15,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes. Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.

To learn more about LDWF’s whooping crane re-population project, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes .

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov or Ginger Guttner at 225-578-9922 or gguttner@lsu.edu.  Photos of the cranes are available upon request.

LDWF Reports Record Low for Boating Fatalities in 2013

Release Date: 02/13/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division’s Boating Safety Program is reporting a record low of 13 boating fatalities for Louisiana in 2013.

The previous low for boating fatalities was 19 in 1992 with a high of 79 in 1974, which was the first year boating incident statistics were recorded.  Louisiana averaged 69 boating fatalities a year from 1974 to 1979, 52 a year from 1980-1989, 32 a year from 1990-1999, 37 a year from 2000 to 2009.  Since 2010 Louisiana has averaged 25 boating fatalities a year including 30 in 2012, 36 in 2011 and 21 in 2010.

“While we are always striving for lower boating incidents and fatalities, we are happy to report this record low for boating fatalities for 2013,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “It shows that some of our boating safety initiatives are working and that boaters are doing a great job of adhering to our safe boating regulations.”

LDWF contributes the drop in boating fatalities to the mandatory boating education class, stricter driving or operating a vessel while under the influence (DWI) enforcement and introducing new regulations for wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

The LDWF Boating Safety Program began instituting mandatory boating safety education in 2003 for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1988 who operates a vessel in excess of 10 horsepower.  In 2010, LDWF worked with the state legislature to make the boating education course mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984.  Since 2003 LDWF has certified over 50,000 boaters statewide.

“The mandatory boating education course has proven in other states and this one that over time we will have fewer boating crash incidents and fatalities,” said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator.  “We will eventually reach a point of saturation and every boater in the state will be boating education certified, which can only increase the safety of our waterways.”

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating fatalities than states without one.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

To take a free LDWF approved boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/boatingcourses.

LDWF has upped their DWI enforcement on the water and have worked with the state legislature in the recent past to make DWI laws on the water the same as on the road.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.  In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher and .02 for anyone under 21 years of age.

LDWF has also introduced a couple of new PFD regulations.  In 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for all on board a recreational vessel less than 16 feet in length that is steered by a hand tiller outboard motor while underway to wear a PFD.  In 2009, LDWF required anyone 16 years of age or younger to wear a PFD while onboard a vessel that is less than 26 feet in length.  The law previously stated that anyone under 12 was required to wear a PFD.

Also in 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for an operator of any recreational vessel less than 26 feet in length that already have an existing engine cut-off switch and equipped with a hand tiller outboard motor to use an engine cut-off switch.  The engine cut-off switches on these types of boats have to be attached to the operator via a lanyard.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Reward Now $15,000 for Information on Whooping Cranes Shot in Jefferson Davis Parish

Release Date: 02/12/2014

Feb. 12, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $15,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes found in Jefferson Davis Parish on Feb. 7.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

Organizations and individuals contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Lowry Park Zoo, Zoo New England, King White and anonymous donors.

The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10. One bird was already dead when found and the second crane was transported to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge and is currently recovering following surgery.

LDWF has been working to restore a wild whooping crane population in Louisiana. Fifty juvenile cranes, brought to Louisiana in four separate cohort groups, have been released at LDWF’s White Lake property near Gueydan since 2011. Prior to this incident, 33 of those birds were alive and well on the landscape in central and southwest Louisiana.  Some have been lost to predators, some to naturally occurring health problems, and five in total have been confirmed as killed or wounded by firearms.

To learn more about LDWF’s whooping crane re-population project, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes .

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov .

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues $18,000 in Rewards in 2013

Release Date: 02/12/2014

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $18,000 to diligent citizens statewide in 2013.

The LOGT board met three times in 2013 and reviewed a total of 41 cases.  A total of 68 subjects were apprehended and a total of 294 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.  The LOGT has paid out a total of $342,700 since inception in 1984.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted mostly of turkey, deer and alligator violations.

“We depend on LOGT and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LOGT Coordinator Lt. Will Roberts.  “LOGT provides the incentive for the public to come forward, which is the cash rewards offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.”

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps from the iTunes or Google Play store free of charge.  Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.

Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

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